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Old 09-28-2007, 04:41 PM   #1
Madtown Brew
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Default Dunkelweizen: roasted grain vs. decoction, wheat malts

I'm trying to put together a dunkelweizen recipe, but I've got some questions.

The BJCP description states "A roasted malt character is inappropriate" (BJCP cat. 15B). Consequently, I'm on the fence as to whether I should use any roasted grains for color or if a decoction will darken the beer enough. Can anyone provide a ballpark figure for the color change when performing a single decoction (approx 15 min boiling of grist)? I plan to do a decoction to step up from a protein rest to the sacc rest, just not sure if I need/want any roasted grains.

Also, what are the flavor and color differences between white and red wheat malt?
If anyone has any experience using other wheat malts such as dark wheat malt or caramel wheat malt, please give your impressions.
Last question: domestic 2-row or continental pils as base grain? I'd like to keep it as traditional as possible.

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Old 09-28-2007, 04:48 PM   #2
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I use a whole 100g of roasted barley in a 25L batch to colour mine, and there isn't even a hint of roasted flavour.

Can't help you with the decoction or wheat questions, but I'm sure someone will.

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Old 09-27-2011, 06:35 AM   #3
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I used 1 oz of chocolate malt in a 5 gallon batch and I think that was way too noticeable. I'm thinking about doing one with just 60% wheat and 40% Munich or maybe Munich and Vienna and decoction. I don't think many traditional examples use specialty grains at all as far as I have understood. But I'm not completely sure.
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:29 PM   #4
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My recipe used Munich, pale malt, crystal 60 and red wheat. It was the appropriate color for a dunkelweizen (although I think next time I will experiment with lowering the C60 a little and subbing in a little chocolate for flavor complexity). I also did a triple decoction mash. In my experience the decoction mash has a minimal effect on the color but helps generate the clovey phenols and a lot of caramel flavor. I would just design the recipe to color without regard for what the decoction mash does.

I think pilsner is the more traditional route but both are used by breweries. I used pale malt because I didn't want quite the grainy flavor of pilsner. If you use pilsner, since it is a lighter grain, you will need to add more speciality malt for flavor.

I can't speak to the darker wheat malts. I would try to find a really solid description (maybe cross-check multiple descriptions) to make sure I knew what effect it would have on beer. Some of those newer malts only contribute color but some contribute both color and flavor and obviously you want to check for the right flavor contributions.

I used red wheat because that's what the LHBS I went to had. I've used both kinds of wheat in recipes. I think red wheat has a slightly more pronounced wheat flavor than white wheat but I think either would be fine in a weizen beer. Obviously again you will want to be mindful of the color difference.
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